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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, December 18th (All times Eastern)

Indiana Pacers (20-4) at Miami Heat (18-6), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Just one week removed from the biggest regular-season game of the season, the rematch between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat heads to South Beach Wednesday, but possibly without a major star.

LeBron James tweaked his left ankle in Monday's easy victory over the Utah Jazz. He did not practice on Tuesday and his status for Wednesday is questionable.

"Very stiff, very sore," James said after practice on Tuesday. "I'm going to be around-the-clock treatment. We'll go from there. It' doesn't matter if it's the Pacers or not. We're a long-term team and I'm a long-term player."

It would be a disappointment to not just Miami fans, but NBA fans if James isn't able to go on Wednesday.

The two teams, who engaged in an epic seven-game battle for the Eastern Conference title last season, met last Tuesday in Indianapolis. The Pacers came out on top, 90-84, after a spectacular second-half surge.

Indiana outscored the Heat by 13 over the final 24 minutes to secure the victory. Once again, as was the case in Miami's successful run to another NBA championship last season, Roy Hibbert posed a huge problem for the Heat.

Hibbert was Indiana's leading scorer with 24 points, but he also grabbed six rebounds and handed out five assists. He shot 10-for-15 from the floor and helped hold the Heat to a shade under 43 percent shooting from the field.

Indiana's other big man, David West, finished with 17 points and nine boards against the Heat.

"Those guys are a huge problem," James acknowledged.

James had 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists against the Pacers.

The Heat thrashed the Utah Jazz, 117-94, on Monday. They've won two straight and four of five, with the only loss during that span coming in Indiana. Wednesday night will be the third of a five-game homestand and Miami is 11-2 at home this season.

The Pacers lost their first home contest of the season on Monday when the Detroit Pistons topped them, 101-96. The Pistons are one of two teams to beat Miami in South Beach as well.

Both teams shot identical 43.2 percent from the floor and committed only eight turnovers apiece. Josh Smith of Detroit was the difference with 30 points, followed by 13 and 12 boards from Greg Monroe.

"We didn't compete tonight," said West. "We didn't come ready to play. They were more aggressive and took advantage of our errors."

Lance Stephenson paced the Pacers with a career-high 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Paul George tallied 17 points with nine rebounds and Luis Scola scored 18 off the bench.

The Pacers lost their last road game, a 118-94 setback to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the end of a brutal road trip.

Indiana has won four of the last five regular-season matchups, but has dropped four straight in Miami and eight of nine.

12/18 10:22:03 ET

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Final
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9:00pm Tonight
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9:30pm Tonight
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3rd
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MIA 59
 
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CLE 50
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1st
MIN 22
SAC 20
 
8:30pm Tonight
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8:30pm Tonight
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9:00pm Tonight
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Final
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Final
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Final
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ARST 52
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Half
MTST 14
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2nd
UVA 10
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2nd
AUB 17
SAMF 7
 
2nd
TENN 3
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2nd
BAY 21
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2nd
MSST 20
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1st
UCONN 0
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1st
UCLA 7
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10:15pm Tonight
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10:30pm Tonight
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10:30pm Tonight
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11:00pm Tonight
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
NEV 50
CLEM 59
 
Final
PROV 80
FSU 54
 
Final
MARQ 89
NEOM 97
Final
DET 66
SALA 53
 
Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
MTST 66
SOUTH 48
 
Final
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UMKC 68
 
Final
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Final
WEBER 58
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Final
BUT 80
GHND 39
 
Final
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SJST 66
 
Final
WOFF 72
SD 68
 
Final
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TXSOU 66
 
Final
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Final
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YALE 53
 
Final
KNST 83
ALCOR 80
 
Final
MAN 78
BING 63
 
Final
JVST 88
MILES 71
 
Final
CSOU 79
WRST 86
 
Final
CITA 81
BOBJONES 50
 
Final
INDST 78
BRO 66
 
Final
WYO 56
COL 33
 
Final
GSOUT 97
FCCOL 41
 
Final
CCAR 76
PIED 33
 
2nd
LATU 55
AMER 38
 
2nd
MAR 53
ARMY 51
 
2nd
TENT 37
CHAT 53
 
2nd
EKENT 92
CLERMONT 31
 
2nd
SMU 62
EWASH 51
 
2nd
NIAG 37
HART 41
 
2nd
PENN 53
LAF 60
 
2nd
UCSB 79
MASTERS 45
 
2nd
BUCK 54
MNTER 51
 
2nd
VMI 68
UNCW 77
 
2nd
RIU 34
NEB 37
 
2nd
NKENTUCKY 86
OHMWSTRN 37
 
2nd
GTDNS 44
QUIN 41
 
2nd
EMICH 46
UNCG 36
 
2nd
ETST 69
UNCA 59
 
2nd
TEMPL 35
UNLV 37
 
2nd
STJOE 46
VERM 31
 
2nd
MON 35
CCST 28
 
Half
KSU 47
ILLCH 29
 
2nd
FAIR 38
SHSU 40
 
Half
LIP 34
TRANSYLVAN 24
 
Half
FUR 27
UCD 30
 
1st
WKENT 26
BEL 21
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
HAMP
 
1st
IND 37
LAM 20
 
1st
TTU 21
MIZST 19
 
1st
HOU 24
MRGST 16
 
1st
NAVY 17
NE 17
 
1st
ALAAM 20
OAKW 14
 
1st
WILL 11
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1st
TULA 27
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1st
TXPA 29
A 23
 
1st
RICE 24
WMARY 23
 
8:30pm Tonight
TXARL
HOUB
 
8:30pm Tonight
MINN
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1st
UTEP 0
NMST 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
GONZ
STTHOM
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
PBY
MORE
9:30pm Tonight
DUKE
STAN
10:00pm Tonight
WISC
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10:00pm Tonight
PORT
SIUE
Final
OTT 2
STL 3
 
2nd
WAS 0
BUF 1
 
2nd
PHI 3
CLB 1
 
2nd
TOR 1
DET 1
 
2nd
TAM 1
MIN 1
 
2nd
BOS 0
MON 2
 
2nd
NYI 0
PIT 1
 
1st
NAS 0
FLA 0
 
1st
DAL 0
LOS 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CAR
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
CHI
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
NJD
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
ARI
Final
NCCU 21
NCA 14